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LeTourneau University – Sports

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

RICHARDSON, Texas – The American Southwest Conference East Division named LeTourneau University women’s basketball players Keauna Whitfield and Ashley Reed as Honorable-Mention team for their performances throughout the 2017-18 season. The announcement was at the conference offices on Monday, February 26.

In addition to being named to the ASC East Honorable-Mention team, Whitfield received the honor of the ASC East Division All-Freshman team, which chooses the top-five freshman from the East Division.

Whitfield appeared in and started all 25 games for LETU after being named to the ASC Preseason Players to watch list, leading the YellowJackets with 320 points scored this season. The Rosebud, Texas native also hauled in a team-high 224 rebounds, which ended up being four rebounds shy of cracking the single-season top-10 list. Among the ASC leaders, Whitfield ranked 14th with 12.8 points per game and third among all qualified players with 9.0 rebounds per game.

“I could not be more proud of Keauna Whitfield and her accomplishments her freshman year,” said head coach Cassi Rozanski. “She had a lot of weight put on her shoulders as a freshman, but she always gave us all she had.” “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her and I know she will be a vital part of our program for year’s to come.”

Reed ended her career at LeTourneau this season, playing in and starting 24 of 25 games and finishing in the top-10 of multiple LETU records. The Cedar Hill, Texas-native, averaged 13.3 points per game. It was the 11th-best scoring average in the ASC and led the conference with 2.8 made three-point field goals per game. Reed finished fourth in school history with 143 made three-point field goals in a career, fifth in single-season three-point field goals made with 66, and 10th in career assists with 205.

“Ashley Reed has had to overcome many obstacles throughout her basketball career,” said head coach Rozanski. “I’m very proud of her accomplishments and am happy that she was able to be rewarded in her final year as a collegiate athlete.”

 

BASEBALL

KERRVILLE, Texas – Looking to win their first three-game series of the year, the LeTourneau University baseball team would use a seven-run seventh and six-run ninth inning to run away with an 18-10 victory over host Schreiner University at Bob Henry Field in Kerrville, Texas on Monday, February 26.

The victory moves LETU to 5-4 overall on the season as the YellowJackets win the three-game set by a tally of two games to one. The Mountaineers fall to 5-9 overall with the loss.

A total of three pitchers would be used in the game by LeTourneau, with Luke Ludwig getting the start and throwing two innings before making way for Ryder Lognion. Lognion would go five innings healthy to earn his first victory of the year, allowing four runs on two hits and striking out five before Kolton Eberlan would come on to win his second save of the year by throwing the final two innings of work.

It would be a group of four YellowJackets to lead the offensive charge, with Eli Birriel, Noah Mahoney, Brandon Ramirez, and Will Bradshaw each collecting three hits in the 20-hit outing for LETU. Mahoney would drive in five of the 18 LeTourneau runs, with six players driving in at least two runners each. The YellowJackets would also have eight extra-base hits, with Jacob Jones hitting a solo home run in the fourth and Mahoney hitting a grand slam in the ninth.

Things would by no means get off to a fast start, with the score remaining 0-0 after the first two innings of play before LETU would finally break through for a run in the third. A pitch would hit Jones and move him to third was a Will Bradshaw single and Birriel sacrifice bunt. A Lee Hosie sacrifice fly made the score 1-0 in favor of the YellowJackets, but Schreiner would come back and score six in the bottom of the third on five hits and two errors to take a 6-1 lead.

LETU wouldn’t wait long to get right back into the game, as the first three YellowJacket batters of the top of the fourth would reach base before a double-play would clear the bases and put two outs on the board with the score 6-3 in favor of SU. Jones would add a solo home run before three more hits drove in another run to make the score 6-5 following the seven-hit inning.

The score would remain at 6-5 with the Mountaineers on top until the bottom of the sixth, with Schreiner scoring two runs on one hit and taking advantage of two hit batters and a wild pitch to make the score 8-5 heading to the final third of the game. LETU once again saw their bats come alive with six hits leading to seven runs as Mahoney, Weston McKinley and Bradshaw all doubled in the inning with the YellowJackets sending 11 batters to the plate to take a 12-8 lead.

Following back-to-back one-two-three innings in the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, more fireworks would ensue as Schreiner would put their first two batters of the inning aboard and force an LETU pitching change. The pitching change would be effective despite allowing both runners to score, as LeTourneau would allow only one more base-runner in the inning and manage to hold onto the lead at 12-10.

Insurance runs and then some would be scored by LETU in the top of the ninth, using a leadoff walk followed by a Jones double to put the score at 13-10 with no outs. LeTourneau would then keep things going following a strikeout, by seeing Birriel and Hosie single in back-to-back at-bats and see that followed up by a Gonzalo Sosa walk. Mahoney would then deliver the big blow by going deep to left field and clearing the bases which would make the score 18-10. Schreiner never would threaten to mount a comeback as the Mountaineers would go one-two-three to end the game.

American Southwest Conference play will open up on Friday evening when the YellowJackets go to Abilene, Texas to take on Hardin-Simmons University to open up a three-game series. A single nine-inning game will take place at 6 p.m. followed by a doubleheader on Saturday. LETU and HSU have met once already this season, with the YellowJackets taking an 8-4 neutral-site decision on opening weekend.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

The LeTourneau University men’s basketball team has qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament and will face off against Hanover College out of Indiana on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta, GA. It is the first time in program history and just the second time that a LeTourneau University athletics team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament, with the 2014 Baseball team also qualifying for NCAA postseason play. Head coach Dan Miller and players (depending on class schedules) will be available to field media requests at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27th immediately following the press conference.

 

WOMEN’S GULF

AUSTIN, Texas – Despite not being able to field a full team, the LeTourneau University women’s golf team has two of their three individual golfers in the top-20 following day one of the Linda Lowery Invitational at Balcones Country Club in Austin, Texas on Monday, February 26.

LETU is one of nine teams represented at the 36-hole meet, which is at the 5,894, Par-70 course. In the team scores, Southwestern University leads all following the first-round score of 326 followed by Concordia University Texas (328) and Hardin-Simmons University (332).

Johnson tied for 17th overall after shooting an 85 on the day while Mask is two shots back of her and tied for 20th (87). Rachael Green is also competing for the YellowJackets in the meet, shooting a first-round score of 94.

Tomorrow will feature the final round of 18 holes, with action expected to get underway at 8:30 a.m. LeTourneau will look to improve upon their day one scores, making gains in the individual standings to build momentum heading into an off week.

 

MEN’S GOLF

AUSTIN, Texas – Led by a two-over 73 by senior Daniel Kay, the LeTourneau University men’s golf team is in eighth place following day one of the 16-team Linda Lowery Invitational at River Place Country Club in Austin, Texas on Monday, February 26.

The meet, which is being hosted by Concordia University Texas, is being played at the 6,408 yard, Par-71 course.

LeTourneau shot a team score of 313 and is fifth among American Southwest Conference schools, trailing seventh-place McMurry by two shots and sixth-place Birmingham Southern by five strokes. Host school CTX has the first and fourth-place teams following round one, with the University of Texas-Tyler and Southwestern University coming in at second and third, respectively.

Individual scores for LeTourneau include Kay, who is currently six shots back of leader Tyler Uhlig, who shot a four-under 67 while Mason Terry tied for 30th following a seven-over 78. Chris Clarkand and Cory Gillespie are tied for 51st after each shot a round of 81 while Cody Taylor rounds out the team score with a round of 86.

Tomorrow’s final round is currently scheduled to get underway at 8:30 a.m., but could be affected due to forecasted weather expected to make its way through the Austin area. If the round is unable to be completed, then the tournament will be shortened to an 18-hole format, and Monday’s scores will count as final scores.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

LONGVIEW, Texas – For the first time in school history, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team has qualified for the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament and will take on Hanover College out of Indiana on Friday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. CT).

The game will be in Atlanta, Georgia on the campus of Emory University who will serve as the regional host. Emory will host Berry College out of Mount Berry, GA in the other game on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET with the winner’s squaring off on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET for a chance to move on to the sectional round.

It marks just the second time among all 17 varsity athletic programs at LeTourneau that an LETU team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament, following the 2014 baseball team that qualified following the 2014 American Southwest Conference Tournament.

Hanover College earned an automatic bid out of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference after defeating Rose-Hulman at Rose-Hulman in the HCAC Finals by a score of 80-70. The Panthers are 22-6 overall this year and are coming off last year’s 26-4 season that ended in the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.

Emory joins LeTourneau in earning one of 21 at-large berths into the tournament and will enter Friday’s game with a 21-4 overall record after finishing second overall in the University Athletic Association.

Berry is the surprise of the entire 64-team field, winning the Southern Athletic Association as the No. 8 seed in their conference tournament and will enter the tournament with a record of 11-17 overall.

Live video and stats will be available for all three games played in Atlanta this weekend, with links to both becoming available at a later time.

 

BASEBALL

KERRVILLE, Texas – The bats would be alive and well for the LeTourneau University baseball team in an 8-2 game one victory over Schreiner University before being limited to just four hits in a 5-1 loss to earn a series-opening split at Bob Henry Field in Kerrville, Texas on Sunday, February 25.

LETU’s record remains .500 at 4-4 overall following the split while Schreiner University improved to 5-8 overall.

Game One:
Junior Andrew Harlan would get all the run support he would need to earn the victory in the second and third innings, throwing six full innings of work to improve to 1-1 overall while allowing two runs on five hits. Kolton Eberlan would pitch the final inning of work, issuing one free pass.

Leadoff hitter Eli Birriel was a key to the offensive production in the game, going three-for-four at the plate and driving in four runs while cleanup hitter Noah Mahoney went a perfect four-for-four at the dish and brought in one run. Jacob Jones and Lee Hosie would also collect multiple hits in the game, with each player going two-for-three in addition to stealing one base each.

The YellowJackets wouldn’t have to wait long to get on the board in game one, using a Mahoney two-out double to score Gonzalo Sosa from first after the senior would reach base following a fielder’s choice. Schreiner would threaten in the bottom half of the first, but see LETU get out of the jam with an inning-ending double play to keep the score at 1-0.

Two more runs would come around to score for LeTourneau in the top of the second, again using two-out magic with Birriel and Hosie collecting back-to-back RBI hits to put LETU up 3-0. The Mountaineers would respond with a single run in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI double, but see the YellowJackets break out for four runs on five hits in the top of the third to take a commanding 7-1 lead. Weston McKinley would drive home Mahoney to put LeTourneau up 4-1 which would be followed by a Jacob Jones single to load the bases with no outs. Following a pitching change and pop up to the shortstop, Will Bradshaw would collect an RBI on a fielder’s choice before Birriel would deliver with a two-RBI single.

Schreiner added a single run in the bottom of the third, but Birriel would collect his fourth RBI of the day in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly to keep the advantage at six.

Game Two:
The nightcap saw starting pitcher Bryce Brueggemeyer (0-3) throw 6.2 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and issuing two walks while striking out just one batter. Sophomore Haden Simmons would get the final four defensive outs for LeTourneau, giving up only one hit to the eight batters he faced.

Leaving runners on base would be a cause for concern for LETU, with seven runners winding up stranded. Brandon Ramirez and Sosa would be responsible for all four YellowJacket hits in the game, with Ramirez recording the only extra-base hit for LETU.

After leading the entire game in the series opener, LeTourneau would allow the Mountaineers to take a 1-0 lead after one inning following a leadoff walk and two-out RBI single. A scoreless second would make way for SU to add another run in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of a YellowJacket error to double their lead to 2-0 with LETU still looking for their first hit of the game.

A Sosa single would be all that LeTourneau would have during the top of the fourth but would hold Schreiner to just a leadoff single to keep the score at 2-0 in favor of the Mountaineers with the middle of the lineup due up. Carson Dickey would draw a leadoff walk to start the top of the fifth inning and work his way over to third on a Ramirez double before Bradshaw would drive home what would be LETU’s only run of the game on a groundout to second base. Schreiner would go on to match LeTourneau’s run in the fifth inning, using a leadoff single and two-out RBI single to keep their advantage at two runs heading to the sixth.

LETU would go hitless in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, seeing their deficit double as Schreiner would score two runs on three hits and one error but leave two runners on base as Simmons would get out of the jam. The YellowJackets would finally see the bats wake up in the top of the ninth, with Sosa hitting a leadoff single and Dickey drawing a one-out walk to put two runners on base. Following a fly out to center field, Ramirez would load the bases with a single and bring the game-tying run to the plate before seeing the Mountaineers end the game with a strikeout to earn the split.

Tomorrow will feature a mid-morning game, with an 11:00 a.m. first pitch to start a series-deciding third game.

 

MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The LeTourneau University men’s track and field team would come away with three top-three finishes as part of a total 12 top-eight finishes. That would open up the 2018 outdoor track and field season at the Trinity University Open at the Trinity University Track and Field Stadium in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, February 24.

“It was a good day today at the Trinity University Open,” said head track and field coach Don Hood in a post-meet interview. “It was nice to get outdoors and get some more events in.” “It was good to see our athletes win some races and make the finals in most of the field events.” “I was very pleased with our effort and most of our performances.” “We took a big step forward today.”

Two of LETU’s top-three finishes would come in field events, with Nate Berlandier (12.82 meters, 42 ft. – 0.75 in.) earning a third-place finish in the triple jump while Cole Ironside (3.85 meters, 12 ft. – 7.5 in.) placed third in the pole vault. The YellowJackets would also get a third-place finish from Stanley Williams in the long jump (6.26 meters, 20 ft. – 6.25 in.). Keishaun McMillian (triple jump, 12.67 meters, 41 ft. – 7 in.), Arvin Hrushka, (pole vault, 3.70 meters, 12 ft. – 1.5 in.), and Michael Brooks (javelin, 38.92 meters, 127 ft. – 8 in.) all came away with fourth-place finishes.

Hrushka would also earn a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.22 and a sixth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (17.43) while Austin Coblentz would take fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:16.48). Other top-eight finishes for LeTourneau would include McMillian with a sixth-place finish in the long jump (6.04 meters, 19 ft. – 9.75 in.) and Derek Byler with an eighth-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (18.36). LETU would also get a sixth-place finish from Williams in the triple jump (12.13 meters, 39 ft. – 9.75 in.) to round out their top performances.

Other results in field events saw Hrushka (31.72 meters, 104 ft. – 1 in.) and Adrik Kling (26.33 meters, 86 ft. – 4 in.) in the discus while Hrushka would also compete in the long jump (5.59 meters, 18 ft. – 4.25 in.). Also competing in the long jump would be Byler with a mark of 4.88 meters (16 ft. – 0.25 in.). The YellowJackets had three additional results in the javelin with Kling (33.16 meters, 108 ft. – 9 in.), McMillian (30.68 meters, 100 ft. – 8 in.), and Collin Olson (24.25 in., 79 ft. – 6 in.).

Running events saw Michael Field (4:24.23) and Lorien Nightingale (4:24.66) compete in the 1,500 meters before seeing Field go on to compete in the 5,000 meters (16:48.39). Daniel Shen would compete in both the 110-meter hurdles (19.45) and 400-meter hurdles (1:04.44) for the YellowJackets, while Byler would also compete in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.20). The 800 meters would feature a trio of LETU athletes, with Nathan Glastetter (2:06.67), Wesley Anderson (2:13.93) and Daniel Bucher (2:16.65) all competing in the event while Andrew Reid (25.64) and Olson (26.17) would round out Saturday’s competition for LeTourneau.

LETU will return to action next Friday, March 2 when they take part in the Marc Randle Classic in Tyler, Texas. The University of Texas-Tyler is hosting the meet.

 

WOMEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Behind victories from freshman Ro Galloway and sophomore Alexis Segura, the LeTourneau University women’s track and field team totaled 14 top-eight finishes at the Trinity University Open at the Trinity University Track and Field Stadium in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, February 24.

“It was a good day today at the Trinity University Open,” said head track and field coach Don Hood in a post-meet interview. “It was nice to get outdoors and get some more events in.” “It was good to see our athletes win some races and make the finals in most of the field events.” “I was very pleased with our effort and most of our performances.” “We took a big step forward today.”

Galloway earned her first victory of the year by running a time of 12.86 in the 100-meter dash, besting the 17-person field by nearly 0.5 seconds. Segura would secure her victory in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, coming in with a time of 12:36.60 in her first time competing in the event at the collegiate level.

Galloway would also go on to compete in the 200 meters, coming in second with a time of 27.30 while Segura would help the 4×400 meter relay team consisting of herself along with Kennedy Keer, Claire Burson, and Keauna Whitfield finish fourth with a time of 4:27.58.

Crystal Jones would snag LeTourneau’s fifth and sixth top-five finishes of the day, coming in fourth in the long jump (5.22 meters, 17 ft. – 1.5 in.) and the 100 meters (13.36). Also earning top-eight finishes for the YellowJackets would be Tori Field in the triple jump (9.39 meters, 30 ft. – 9.75 in.) along with Keer in the 800 meters (2:39.93) as both the athletes finished sixth in their respective events. The field would also go on to end seventh in the long jump (4.78 meters, 15 ft. – 8.25 in.) and 100-meter hurdles (18.17) while Lexi Funk came in seventh in the 400-meter hurdles (1:19.68). Also finishing seventh in her respective event would be Kirstiana Welch, coming in with a time of 20:58.99 in the 5,000 meters.

Sophomore Rebekah Stevenson posted a seventh-place finish in the javelin (22.30 meters, 73 ft. – 2 in.). An eighth-place finish in the shot put (7.20 meters, 23 ft. – 7.5 in.) while Keer rounded out the top-eight finishes for LETU with an eighth-place finish in the 400 meters (1:04.57).

Finishing just outside the top-eight, but earning top 10 finishes would be Bridey Davis (22:58.16) and Allison Fuller (24:57.59) in the 5,000 meters. It also placed Stevenson in the discus (30.73 meters, 100 ft. – 10 in.) and Melanie Shempert in the javelin (17.60 meters, 57 ft. – 9 in.).

Other performances for LeTourneau on the day would be Galloway (4.40 meters, 14 ft. – 5.25 in.). Burson (4.37 meters, 14 ft. – 4 in.) in the long jump. Carrye Funk (16.27 meters, 53 ft. – 4 in.), Lexi Funk (15.81 meters, 51 ft. – 10 in.), and Riley Blok (13.10 meters, 42 ft. – 11 in.) in the javelin. Burson would also go on to compete in the 400 meters, finishing with a time of 1:06.96.

The YellowJackets will get a chance next weekend to compete in what will be their closest meet of the year to Longview, traveling to Tyler, Texas to compete in the Marc Randle Classic on Friday, March 2.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

ALPINE, Texas – A nine-point halftime deficit would be overcome by the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team before seeing East Texas Baptist University use an 11-1 run in the second half. They took the lead for good as the YellowJackets would fall by a score of 108-101 in the American Southwest Conference Tournament Semifinals at the Gallego Center in Alpine, Texas on Friday, February 23.

The loss leaves LeTourneau with a 23-4 overall record and sees LETU’s 11-game win streak snapped as the Tigers advance to tomorrow’s ASC Tournament Championship game while improving to 21-6 overall.

East Texas Baptist shot all night efficiently long, using a 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) performance in the second half to finish 37-for-67 (51.2 percent) in the game. LeTourneau would turn in a 31-for-69 (44.9 percent) shooting percentage from the field and have just six threes in the game (6-of-20, 30.0 percent). Bench points would prove to be a key factor for the Tigers in the game, holding a 39-11 advantage while also outscoring LETU 15-8 in fast-break points.

In what might be his final collegiate game, senior Alec Colhoff finished with 14 points to go along with four rebounds and was one of five YellowJackets in double-figures. Freshman Justin Moore and junior Caleb Loggins each had a team-high 25 points in the game with Moore finished with eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Nate West would score 20 points which included a perfect 12-for-12 performance at the charity stripe while Christian Seidl had all 11 bench points for LeTourneau.

The third meeting would play out very similar to the first two battles that took place in mid-January followed by last week as the YellowJackets would jump out to a 10-4 lead with 16:22 remaining in the first half on a Loggins steal and layup. Three-point shooting would be the key for ETBU in the first half, connecting on a Landin Brown triple to pull back within three before scoring back-to-back layups to take their early lead of the game at 11-10. LeTourneau would tie the game at 11-11 following a one-for-two trip to the charity stripe by Loggins, and use the free throw line again with West connecting on a pair of free throws to tie the game at 13-13 with 13:38 remaining in the first half.

An 11-1 run by the Tigers would force LETU to face their first double-digit deficit of the ASC tournament at 24-14, but a Seidl triple out of the 12-minute media timeout brought the YellowJackets back to within 24-17 with 11:08 remaining in the first half. East Texas Baptist responded with an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 32-17, shooting well over 50 percent from the field while connecting on their sixth three of the first half.

LeTourneau would finally find their offensive stroke midway through the first half, going on an 8-0 run of their own to cut the once 15-point deficit back down to seven. ETBU then used a 7-0 run to nearly matching the once 15-point lead at 39-25. The YellowJackets would slowly chip away at the Tiger lead in the remaining seven minutes of the first half, not allowing East Texas Baptist to push their lead out any more significant than 13 at 43-30 with 6:05 left. Despite repeated efforts from LeTourneau, the deficit would remain right around the double-digit mark before settling at nine with the score 55-46 at the break.

The nine-point deficit would be the largest that LeTourneau would face in all three of their matchups with the Tigers this season, with the 55 points the second-most that the YellowJackets had given up in the first half all season.

LeTourneau would come out determined to open the second half, allowing a bucket to Jordan Gosey before scoring the next seven points to cut the lead to 57-53 and force an ETBU timeout. LETU managed to get within two points at 60-56 with 16:36 remaining in the second half and would pull within one at 64-63 as the Tigers would do everything in their power to try and maintain their lead.

A Moore triple with 14:27 remaining in the game knotted the game up at 66-66, with both teams trading points over the next three minutes of play to see three additional ties before seeing West give LETU their first lead of the second half. LeTourneau would use an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 78-72 with 9:55 remaining, but it would East Texas Baptist who would respond with seven straight points to reclaim the lead at 79-78 just 1:44 later.

Following two more ties on the next two possessions, ETBU would use a pair of Robby Dooley free throws to take an 81-80 lead with 7:09 remaining en route to going on an 8-2 run to take an 87-82 lead. The Tiger lead would grow to 10 points at 95-85 with 2:38 remaining as East Texas Baptist would threaten to put the game out of reach heading into crunch time. LeTourneau would use one last run to cut the lead in half and close to within five at 95-90 just 26 seconds later, but free throws for ETBU combined with empty possessions for LETU would be too much to overcome.

LeTourneau will have to play the waiting game to see if there is any possibility of receiving one of 21 at-large berths into the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship. The selection show airs on Monday, February 26th at 11:30 A.M. (CT) on NCAA.com when the full 64-team field will be released. Heading into Friday’s games, LeTourneau had the sixth-most wins of any NCAA Division III team this season and was ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division III South Region Rankings.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director